Hey, everyone! Take a seat, close the door. We need to talk.
Amazon subscription’s service Kindle Unlimited has been out for a year. The way it works, as many of you know already, is that for a monthly fee you were allowed to borrow any book enrolled in the program for free.
Us authors were paid a flat fee for each borrowed book read past the 10% mark. However, we never knew in advance how much that fee was going to be. It depended on how many borrows there were in total throughout the KU program and the pool of money was split accordingly. In the beginning, we were getting paid around $2 for each borrow and this then dwindled to around $1.30.
And now everything is changing drastically.
Amazon changed its business model as of July 1, 2015. Authors will no longer be paid for a borrowed book but rather for pages read. How much? About $.0057 cents per page read.
That’s right, half a cent a page.
First of all, this is this incredibly unfair. They’re asking authors to provide content without any guarantee of getting paid. If you go to the restaurant and order a dish, do you get to avoid paying when you only eat half of it? Of course not.
Secondly, Amazon refuses to tell us how much each page will net the author in future months, which is incredibly underhanded. How would you feel if you were hired for a job and you wouldn’t know until 45 days later how much you’ll be paid? This could mean a 80-90% drop in income.
So what does it mean for you?
Many authors are removing their books from the Kindle Unlimited program. Me? I’m not certain yet. I want to wait until the end of the summer to see how things shake out.
However, there may come a time when I have no choice but to pull out of KU. It might mean fewer releases. It might mean releasing a bundle per month instead. I don’t know yet.
I’m truly sorry if Kindle Unlimited was your preferred method to read my books.
Here’s what YOU can do to help!
While I’m still enrolled in KU, if you borrow one of my books please read all the way to the very end. With your device connected (or syncing) to the Internet, Amazon will know how many pages you’ve read and I’ll get a few pennies more.
Do you want to participate and help improve the system? First, share this blog post on Twitter and Facebook. Next, you can write to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos by clicking here or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell him that it’s not too much to ask, that Kindle Unlimited needs to change. Amazon needs to tell authors how much they are going to pay them for their work and how many of their books are being read, at what completion rate. Under the previous program this data was available but it’s not anymore. This is vital if you want your favorite authors to continue to offer free books through Kindle Unlimited.
Thanks for bearing with my rant! Have a great holiday weekend and come back next week for a brand-new story you won’t want to pass up